Posted 14th Nov 2013

University-based athletes among top award winners

University of Bath-based athletes landed many of the top honours at the annual Bath Chronicle Sports Awards ceremony, with Stephanie Millward, Paul Blake and Team Bath’s Superleague netballers among the winners of major awards.

Paralympic swimmer Stephanie Millward was named winner of the coveted sports personality of the year award at last night’s (Wednesday) ceremony at Bath Racecourse.

It came after another impressive year that saw the Aquae Sulis Performance Swimming Club member, who trains at the University, collect four gold medals and a silver at the IPC World Championships in Canada in August.

She also won the disability sports performer of the year award last night.

A delighted Stephanie said: “I’m overwhelmed by the awards, I didn’t expect either.

“It was an inspiring and amazing evening, I loved every second of it,” she added. “Hopefully other people attending found it inspiring and it has left them wanting to reach of their own goals in life.”

Paul Blake, another University of Bath-based world champion, won the professional sports personality of the year award. The London 2012 Paralympian’s award came after he struck T36 800m gold and 400m silver at the World Championships in France in July.

And Team Bath’s Superleague netball team were named team of the year. The team, who are preparing to get their 2014 campaign underway in January, collected their fifth Superleague title in 2013, a year that also saw them win the FastNet Grand Prix for the first time.

Jess Thirlby, Team Bath’s head netball coach, said: “I’m really proud of the team’s achievements, not just in 2013 but over the past eight years of the Superleague.

“To have won the title for a fifth time is remarkable and testament to all the players and staff involved.  We’re very grateful for the continued support of Team Bath and the University of Bath.This award means so much as it is recognition from our local audience and the city of Bath.”

Team Bath Evolution Trampoline Club coach Sarah Hunt collected the coach of the year award for her dedication to the city’s trampolinists. The award came just days after club member Pete Cracknell, who was shortlisted for the sports personality award, helped Great Britain to team bronze at the Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships.

Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University of Bath, said: “Congratulations to all of the winners. Once again they show the incredible breadth of sporting talent both at the University and within the city of Bath and surrounding area.

“I was particularly pleased to see the number of nominees and award winners with links to the University. It once again highlights the important contribution the University of Bath makes to the life of the city.”

A full list of nominees and award winners are available on the Bath Chronicle’s website. You can view more photos from the evening on the online gallery.

Photos courtesy: The Bath Chronicle

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